Grilling can create a delicious meal, but it can be dangerous too. So before you fire up your grill, here are some things you need to know, according to up-and-coming grill master Courtney Rada, host of Genius Kitchen’s series “Carnivorous.”
- Gas grills are easier to use, and misuse - People like them because you don’t have to deal with charcoal, but Rada says they can be more dangerous if not handled correctly. According to a State Farm report, 82% of grill fires fire departments responded to between 2007 and 2011 were gas grill related.
- Keep the lid open when lighting - Rada warns that leaving the grill lid closed when lighting the gas grill could allow the gas to pool and potentially explode.
- Check for gas leaks with the bubble test - Take equal parts soap and water and brush or spray it through the gas connection or hose while the gas is off. Then, turn on the gas tank valve only. Before lighting it, check for soap bubbles. If they don’t form, go ahead and light it, but if you see bubbles, turn off the gas and replace the broken grill part.
- Set up away from trees and 10 feet from structures - Always keep your grill at least 10 feet from structures, no matter if it’s charcoal or gas. And stay away from trees when grilling because a windy day could cause overhanging branches to catch fire.
- Rust is a red flag - Rada says rust is a sign you’re not maintaining your grill properly. Rust can build up and keep your meats from cooking thoroughly. And it can attach to your food, and you don’t really want to eat that stuff.
- A meat thermometer is a must - You’ll need tongs and a grill brush as well, but Rada warns to never grill meat without a thermometer, or even better, several of them, so you can use one in each type of meat you’re cooking.